Pharmacy First – Minor Ailments Scheme

Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients. Working in the community, pharmacists use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.

Many pharmacies in the local area offer the ‘Pharmacy First’ service. This service is an alternative to visiting your GP, making it easier for you and your family to get healthcare and advice on minor ailments at a time that suits you.

All consultations are free of charge and are treated in strict confidence, just as they are by your GP and Nurse. If you are exempt from prescription payments you will still receive your medicines as before and if you are not, normal rules apply.

The benefits for you are direct access with a health professional, normally within a few minutes, which avoids waiting for a GP appointment.

It also has benefit for the GP practice, by freeing up minor ailment appointments; the practice then has more appointments to deal with more medically urgent cases.

Your local pharmacy can prescribe medication to treat the following ailments under this service:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cystitis
  • Impetigo
  • Oral thrush in babies

Your local pharmacy can also offer advice and recommend over the counter treatment for a range of other problems including:

  • Scabies
  • Threadworm
  • Vaginal thrush
  • Hay Fever
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Coughs and colds

You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms. You don’t need to make an appointment. Most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.

Consultations are always free and confidential, regardless of whether the pharmacist gives you any medication.